Cycling has long been a male-dominated sport and pastime in the UK. But women also have a close relationship with competitive cycling, dating back to the 1800s and carrying on to this day! Historically, cycling was a liberating force for women, and the sport has come a long way since its inception. At The Insurance Emporium, we want everyone to be able to make the most of their passions! That’s why we’ve put together our list of some of the most important women in cycling!
Annie Londonderry was the first woman to cycle around the world! Starting in 1894, the huge journey took her a total of 15 months. By the time she’d finished, she had become an icon! Annie made money throughout her odyssey through advertising, attaching posters and banners to her bicycle to promote various companies. Her name wasn’t even Londonderry! Born Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, the “Londonderry” handle was part of an advertising deal with Londonderry Lithia Spring Water Company!
Referred to by many as the UK’s best ever female cyclist, nobody has ever really calculated just how many events Beryl Burton won. Some claim the total could be close to 1,000! Burton received the coveted British Best All Rounder award a staggering 25 years in a row from 1959 to 1983, won a total of 96 national titles, and beat the men in many events. She managed this all part-time as well, never receiving a penny in sponsorship or any professional coaching. Arguably, no other cyclist has ever had a career as legendary as Beryl Burton.
Once considered the best female cyclist of all time, Jeannie Longo began racing in 1975 and was active even through 2012! Throughout this almost four-decade career, Longo competed in seven Olympic Games, won 13 World Championship titles and 59 French Championship titles. Her career was probably the longest, most successful of any female cyclist.
Marianne Vos is a cyclocross, road bicycle, mountain bike and track racer – there isn’t much this versatile Dutch cyclist hasn’t competed in! She won gold medals in the 2008 Olympics points race and the 2012 Olympics women’s road race. Vos also won the World Road Race Championship three times in 2006, 2012 and 2013, and the World Cyclocross Championship a total of seven times! Passionate about cycling from a very young age, some have called Marianne Vos the finest cyclist of her generation.
Scottish endurance cyclist Jenny Graham broke the record for the fastest woman to cycle round the world unsupported in 2018! The journey, spanning 18,000 miles, 16 countries and four continents, took Graham a total of 124 days to complete, averaging 15 hours cycling each day. She smashed the previous record, knocking almost three weeks off of Paola Gianotti’s 144-day trip!
Dame Sarah Storey
Britain’s top female Paralympic athlete, Dame Sarah Storey has won a total of 14 Paralympic gold medals – but not all of them have been for cycling! Originally competing at just 14 years old as a swimmer, Storey brought home two gold, three silver and one bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. After switching to cycling, she now holds nine total Paralympic medals on the bike, not to mention a collection of world records. We’re looking forward to watching her compete at Tokyo 2020!
These are some of the top women in competitive cycling from history and today! However, you don’t need to be a professional to have some magical adventures on your bike. If you have a passion for all things cycling, you might want to consider bicycle insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, our Bicycle Insurance covers Theft, Accidental Loss Or Damage as standard, with a range of Optional Benefits available – so you can tailor your policy to suit your needs and budget! You could even benefit from up to 25% discount* on your policy. Ride on down to The Insurance Emporium to find out more!
* The 25% discount is made up of 15% Introductory Discount plus a range of additional discounts (if appropriate). Please see our website for the additional discounts. The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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